Ordinarily, many people try to make some provisions for those we will leave behind when we die. Jesus, who became one with us in our human family and was fully engaged in all that we are and do, was no exception.
Some of us are concerned with anticipating and attending to the financial needs of loved ones and, to that end, we pass on to them whatever wealth we’ve accumulated through the years. Sensitive to the emotional well-being of our dear ones, we may also leave messages not only a last testament but a note, a letter or even a personal journal or a videotape. Admittedly, none of these efforts, can negate the stark reality of death, but all may, in some small way, diminish its pain.
Before he departed from his disciples in death, Jesus also attempted to ease the burden of those whom he would leave behind, not by providing for their financial, emotional or psychological needs but by seeing to their spiritual well-being. Indeed, Jesus left behind his very self so that his presence would continue to embrace, enable and empower his followers. Three weeks ago on Easter’s Third Sunday, the risen Jesus, as recorded in Luke’s gospel, explained that his abiding presence could be known and experienced in the breaking open of the scriptural word and in the breaking of the bread of the Eucharist. As they realized his presence among them, the disciples burned with love and affection in their hearts.
Six weeks ago, on Easter’s second Sunday, the risen Jesus ,as recorded in the gospel of John, breathed upon his own and said that from then on they would be inspired and impelled by his abiding presence to bring peace and forgiveness to world.
In today’s gospel, John tells us that the abiding Spirit of Jesus within every believer sets each of us at odds with the world. It is a Spirit of truth whom the world does not recognize or accept. Nevertheless, and despite all odds, that Spirit has been promised us; that the Spirit will remain with us as Jesus’ living legacy until he returns. Jesus will not leave us orphans!
That Spirit was described by Jesus as another Advocate. Thus, the Holy Spirit as our advocate is one who represents our interests, like a defense attorneywho is sincerely concerned with our well-being. As our Advocates, the Son and the Spirit will support us in all our efforts, strengthen us against every adversary, and sustain us through every trial. It is the Holy Spirit who will assure the permanence and the power of the community’s faith in the risen Jesus. For Jesus solemnly promises that he will not leave us orphans.
An interesting anecdote: From the 1850’s through the 1920’s, “Orphan Trains” carried almost 400,000 children from New York City to adoptive families in the Midwest. These children, often given up by newly arrived and desperate immigrants or found living in the streets, were resettled with families who could feed and clothe them and who welcomed their presence on the still underpopulated frontier of a growing nation. The pathos of the trains’ departures was repeated at stops along the way, when children would be taken off and “displayed” for prospective adoptive parents.
Jesus promised his disciples that he would not leave them orphans. We have been chosen! And like an older brother, Jesus is going ahead to prepare a home for us. And an unbelievable gift is about to be given us! What Christ has by nature, we are granted as gift—a share in the divine life – in the interior life of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit! Their love surrounds us, supports us, nourishes and sustains us. When the Father sees us, hears our prayers, God sees and hears the divine Son. We are not orphans; we are God’s beloved children, and our train is bound for glory! Pentecost is in two weeks.
Jesus, we’re moving to the close of our Easter season now.
We feel the excitement in the air ~ and some sadness too.
You spoke these words to your disciples at the Last Supper;
they would not have understood at the time what you were saying or what you meant.
You also said,
“Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.(14:21).”
Help us to observe your commandments, Jesus. They are simple: “Love one another as I have loved you.”
And allow us to know you and the Father.
To you and the Father and the Holy Spirit, our Advocate, be all honor and glory, now and forever.
And now before you go, since this is also Mother’s Day, here’s a hymn to Our Lady. Click Here.
Be sure to turn up your speakers and enter full screen.
And here are today’s Mass readings, if you’d like to reflect on them. Click here.
This Sunday is also Mother’s Day. We wish our mothers, grandmas, aunts–living or deceased , friends, intendeds– a very special day! But how? The business folks would have us spend lots of $ on our mothers. For what? Stuff they probably don’t want or need anyway. My suggestion is to get a single rose, give them a big hug–if you’re able, and do something simple and creative. And don’t forget to honor Our Blessed Mother too!
How ’bout putting a comment on my blog and let me know what you think.
Keep on keepin’ on, Bob!
Thanks, Gordon! Continued Easter Blessings! ~ Bob